One of my favorite things about working at the Mattress Factory is getting to see other artists’ work spaces and shops from behind the scenes. It’s a chance to get up close and personal with the artistic community in Pittsburgh. The Factory 500 member-only events really cater to the desire to see how other artists in the area live, work and create.
This month, the Factory 500 Members are doing an East End tour that involves three stops. The night begins at 7 pm at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and focuses on Maxo Vanka’s exhibition Paintings and Works on Paper. The group will spend about 45 minutes to an hour at each location, time-permitting. During the time, there will be a tour of the exhibition and talk about his work. Factory 500 members got a taste of his work earlier this year with a tour of Milvale's St. Nicholas Church covered in his own murals.
The second stop will be at The Cotton Factory on Penn Avenue. The Cotton Factory is a t-shirt and screen-printing business that ships orders nationally. They have t-shirt designs that range from Pittsburgh-themed to sarcastic and humorous to abstract. The group will spend time touring the shop and learning a bit about the processes at The Cotton Factory.
The third and last stop for the night will be at the Mansions on Fifth. Currently undergoing a full restoration, the old building located on Fifth Avenue in Shadyside is getting a new life. The group will join Chef Bob Sendall, of All In Good Taste Productions, for delicious treats in the kitchen at the Mansions. As far as I’m concerned, it sounds like a great way to end the evening.
These tours are always a lot of fun to plan and execute because of the wide variety of things to see and do. Our Factory 500 members really enjoy going to these behind the scenes tours, and I enjoy it, too. It doesn’t seem fair to just look at our own installation art here at the Mattress Factory; it’s necessary to step out into the Pittsburgh community and take a look at the other amazing things that are being created, whether visual arts, tee shirts, or delicious food.
If you’re interested in coming along on this unique tour become a member at the Factory 500 level! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via email at abby[at]mattress[dot]org or call the museum at 412.231.3169 (and, yes, we can break down membership dues into monthly payments).